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Asked by Chanda Rule, Sun Sep 29, 2013

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Laurence Ros…, Other Pro, Cape Coral, FL
Mon Sep 30, 2013
Have good credit is very important. It shows that you are financially responsible. But in New York, there are many people with undocumented incomes. So a number of ways of dealing with this have become commonplace.

1) Gather your paperwork to show that you are not living week to week. This means the most recent monthly statement from your bank and recent statements from your savings account or brokerage accounts, if you have any. You want to show that you are not living on your last dime.

2) Offer, up front, to prepay as much rent as you possibly can. Don't wait for the landlord to ask you, because they won't. Just offer it. If you remove the risk for a landlord, you'll get the apartment. If you prepaid for an entire year, there is no risk to the landlord, so no reason to deny you the apartment. If you can't offer a year's rent, then offer 6 month's of rent. If you can't do that, offer 3 month's of rent.

3) Offer to give the landlord additional security. Again, anything that lowers the risk to the landlord helps you to rent.

4) If you're renting with a monthly rent of $1,500 or greater, get pre-approved by a corporate guarantor like It will cost you about a month's rent, but it will go a long way to getting you an apartment.

5) Have a financially strong friend or family member be your guarantor. has an excellent renter's guide that talks about each of these strategies and more. You can find it here: .

Good luck in renting.
2 votes
Tom Dawson, Agent, New York, NY
Mon Sep 30, 2013
Your best bet would likely be to use a guarantor. That person can do the income qualification and you can pay the rent.
Some landlords will work with people in your situation and accept additional security and/or advance rent. Often these numbers can add up to at least 6 months up front and as many as 12. But with the market as hot as it still is, there is often no need for a landlord to do this.
If I can be of assistance, you can reach me on my cell at 310-951-8993.
2 votes
Katherine (K…, , New York, NY
Sun Sep 29, 2013

Can you show evidence of steady employment? Most rental buildings will require you to have a certain amount of income as compared to the rent. If you can demonstrate that through pay stubs or employer letters, you may well be able to rent on your own without a guarantor.

There are also a couple of terrific brokerages that cater specifically to artists. They understand how actors/musicians/etc work, and can help you find a place pretty easily. These resources also exist for buyers, but it sounds like you're committed to renting.

I would be happy to refer you to a colleague who has lots of experience in situations like this. The rental market moves very quickly and can be tricky to navigate, so it's a good idea to have someone in your corner.

Let me know if you need help!

2 votes
That would be amazingly wonderful. The majority of my income comes from working in Russia, and Europe and is paid in cash in rubles, dollars and euros...which is the issue. I have some contracts and invoices but am not sure if this counts as proof of income. I could perhaps get a letter from my accountant for this year if that works. I would love to work with your colleague. My contact info is or 917-482-8870. Thank you!
Flag Sun Sep 29, 2013
Anna M Brocco, Agent, Williston Park, NY
Mon Sep 30, 2013
You can also consider a guarantor....
1 vote
Akilah Willi…, , New York, NY
Mon Sep 30, 2013
You can rent in Harlem. Some management companies will allow you to pay extra security or you would need a guarantor. You're other option is to rent directly from an owner (brownstone). Most agents have listings with direct owners.

I would be happy to assist you in finding an apartment. I do a lot of rentals in Harlem. Feel free to contact me anytime.

Akilah Williams
1 vote
Emily, , Queens, NY
Mon Sep 30, 2013
As an Owner/Manager of many apartments, I would have to say the income requirements are for bigger buildings, and bigger management companies.

I usually ask for a co-borrower who has a steady income, and what is even more important to me is Usage of credit, and ability to pay it back, and ASSET.

I have many tenants who are students from different countries and it's very hard to show income. I take their parents info usually and bank statement.

Harlem still have many smaller and or owner managing companies, so it shouldn't be that hard.

If you have the assets, let me know, and I will see what I can do for you. My email is

Hope this helped.
1 vote
Gina Sabio, , New York, NY
Mon Sep 30, 2013
Hi Chanda,
Harlem is a bit different than other parts of Manhattan. Are you currently working? do you have a New York bank account? A landlord wants to be sure you will and are able to pay the rent. Give me a call at my office: 646-300-6034 or my cell; 917-325-8147. i would be happy to give you guidelines on how to handle this.

Gina Sabio
0 votes
John Peitler, Agent, NY,
Mon Sep 30, 2013
Please call me for assistance. My name is Erika and I can be reached at 917-335-8569. Thank you and good luck.
0 votes
Daniel Fried…, , New York, NY
Mon Sep 30, 2013

How are you doing? I can help you as I work with a lot of people with low credit here in NY.
Please contact me anytime to discus your situation.

Best Regards,

Daniel Friedland
Licensed Real Estate Salesperson
RE/MAX Midtown
19 West 21 Street
New York, NY 10010
Cell: 732-773-1919
Office: 212-229-2999
0 votes
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